BEIJING — Twelve Chinese people were missing after their fishing boat collided Thursday with an oil tanker in waters near Japan, a Chinese diplomat said.

An official surnamed Sun at the Chinese consulate-general in Osaka said 16 crew members were aboard the Chinese fishing boat when it capsized after colliding with the Hong Kong-registered tanker.

Four were rescued while the others remained missing. The collision occurred 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the Oki Islands in western Japan, Sun said by phone.

The Chinese consulate has activated an emergency plan and Japanese authorities have dispatched three rescue ships, Sun said.